This article was originally written by Kristin Beheler and has been updated by Jackie Malkes.
The holidays are coming up quick! Grandparents might already be asking what gifts to get the grandkids. Of course, family (especially grandparents) love to give gifts but do our kids need more stuff (toys, clothes, etc.)? Instead of more stuff, why not ask for the gift of experiences?
Gift of experiences
So what do I mean by giving gifts of experiences instead of stuff? You (or grandparents or family) can gift your kids with memberships, concerts, or classes. You could even gift them with a day trip somewhere like New York, Philly, or Baltimore. These are things you can do as a family, on a special “date” day with just one child, or a grandparent day.
Luckily our area has a lot to offer! Please check out our official DC Area Moms’ Holiday Gift Guide with lots of ideas for experience gifts. Here are even more ideas to get you started:
Favorite Membership Gifts in the DMV Area
- The Building Museum
- The Smithsonian’s National Zoo (Although the entrance is free, membership includes added benefits such a free carousel rides.)
- The National Geographic Museum
- National Children’s Museum
- Baltimore National Aquarium
- Baltimore Port Discovery
Favorite Classes for Kids
- Tea with Mrs. B (Etiquette classes for boys and girls)
- Glen Echo Park (Adult/Childrens/Puppet Shows and more!)
- Ice Skating Lessons at Fairfax Ice Arena, MedStar Capitals Ice Rink or Rockville Ice Arena.
- Paint your Own Pottery (Kiln and Co in Vienna, Clay Cafe Studio in Falls Church, All Fired Up in DC, Color Me Mine in Rockville)
- Horse Back Riding Lessons at Frying Pan Farm Park or your local farm
- Youth Soccer Classes at Soccer Shots or Lil DMV Kickers. For older kids connect with local leagues that offer soccer and other sports.
- Youth Programs (Ages 6+) at the DC Trapeze School or Monarca in Flight (Ages 14+)
- Code Ninjas (Help your child learn how to code. Read about the DC Area Moms Blog visit here.)
- Power Tots (Gymnastics, yoga and dance classes start with toddlers.)
- Mister Mike Music
- MoCo Movement Center
- Integrity of Self Movement Arts (Movement classes start at 18 months.)
- Imagination Stage
- Wolf Trap (Early Education, K-12th) Lessons, Events and Workshops focused on the Arts and Music
- Arts on the Horizon (Early Education children’s shows and programming)
- Tunes 4 Tots
- My Gym Bethesda or My Gym Potomac
- Swim classes at your local YMCA, Community Center, the Goldfish Swim School, Big Blue Swim School (Arlington/Fairfax), Machine Performance Swim (Vienna) or the British Swim School (Read about our experience here.)
- Plum Patch DC (Art projects for toddlers using sustainable materials)
- Skiing at Liberty Mountain Resort
- Cooking Classes and Camps for Kids at Culinaria
STEM Related Mailorder Experiences
Tickets to Sporting Events
Family-Friendly Concerts & Experiences
- Frozen, Camp Encanto, Monster Jam, or Disney on Ice (Oct. 2024)
- The Kennedy Center
- For the older kids – tickets to see their favorite artist!
- Adventure Park at Sandy Spring
- BusyBees (Indoor Play Area), Jolly Yolly (Fairfax) or Scramble (Alexandria and Falls Church)
- Great Wolf Lodge
- Amusement Park Tickets: Six Flags, Kings Dominion, Sesame Place Park
- Movie Passes
We live in an area with a lot to offer. For Christmas (or birthdays) why not help them experience it? The memories made will long outlast whatever “stuff” they could get as an alternative.
What would you add to this list of experience gifts? Please share your ideas in the comments below!